Friday, 15 May 2015

four new Routemasters get a stylish advertising wrap

When you have a sea of red navigating the capital's streets everyday, I always think it's nice to see a stylish full wrap breaking the colour monotony. 

These are four I found on Andy's Bus Blog and show what can be done when an advertiser is given a blank canvas. Nice work - would like to see more around the country please.

Advertising the new Magnum Pink Raspberry

Showing off it's Ride with Pride livery

Advertising the new Magnum Black Espresso

Covered in Androids of varying styles

All photos are courtesy of David Bell.

Tuesday, 12 May 2015

the bus campaign that got people hot under the collar

So after a few days away I've come back to something I never thought I would see - a bus company's advertising being talked about in the national press.

New Adventure Travel, a 'South Wales based coach hire and land transport solutions provider' decided that the best way to promote all day travel on their new X1 service was by getting a little tongue in cheek.

And according to them, the best way to get it noticed was to have topless (male and female) models on the back the new buses holding a sign with the message 'Ride me all day for £3'. 

Well, if was attention they were after, they've certainly achieved it. Twitter went a bit mental, and the kick off was subsequently picked up by the national press.

The company's reaction was in stark contrast to that of Protein World as they decided an apology was the best form of defence. “Firstly we have stated that our objectives have been to make catching the bus attractive to the younger generation. We therefore developed an internal advertising campaign featuring males and females to hold boards to promote the cost of our daily tickets.

“The slogan of ‘ride me all day for £3’ whilst being a little tongue in cheek was in no way intended to cause offence to either men or women and, if the advert has done so then we apologise unreservedly. There has certainly been no intention to objectify either men or women.

“Given the volume of negativity received we have decided to remove the pictures from the back of the buses within the next 24 hours.”

I've got a bit of sympathy with NAT's approach. They were trying to appeal to a particular market, who one could argue, would be familiar with a risque approach to marketing but the media choice was misguided. The back of a bus is seen by the world and his wife, but the back of a nightclub toilet door would be a different kettle of fish entirely.

Maybe I should go away more often if bus advertising gets in the news when I do.

Thursday, 7 May 2015

was the Protein World furore well planned or just luck?

The advertising world has come to the eyes of the British public over the last week or so, thanks to a campaign on the London Underground.

The work, seen below, is for the Protein World - a provider of fitness/health supplements - and has generated over 350 complaints to the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) as well as 45,000 online signatures calling for it to be banned.

So with so many people taking offence to it, you could argue that ad hasn't been very successful. If people don't like it, then it hasn't worked right? Well if you are judging directly against return on investment through sales increase, you couldn't be more wrong.

In the five days after the story about posters broke, Protein World saw sales jump by a massive £1m (since upped to £2m), with the whole campaign estimated to cost no more than £250,000. That's one happy finance director.

So was people's reaction to the campaign something they envisaged it or did they just get lucky with people taking to the streets in protest? Did they really believe an attractive lady in a bikini flogging protein powder would cause such a stir? I doubt it.

In the ad's simplest form, the message is 'buy our product and you could look like this' which admittedly (without hard work, discipline, exercise and good genetics) is a highly unlikely claim. Yet there is nothing overly outrageous about the ad's concept, copy, or execution.

What they have succeeded is doing is turning a negative reaction by a small minority (and the media) who were never likely to be customers of the brand, into a positive one for those that are. Protein World have shown themselves to be a company who weren't prepared to play the traditional apology PR game when things got a little sticky.

Richard Staveley, the company’s head of marketing, was quoted as saying: “It’s been quite odd how many people we’ve found who are far quicker to fit shame then fat shame. And, you know, if that makes us bad, then so be it.”
If you've got the balls to do it, you get the kudos when things pay off.